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How to handle child custody negotiations with a narcissist

When a Colorado marriage goes south, it is not uncommon for spouses to begin accusing one another of various personality deficiencies. Every forgotten anniversary or failure to keep the garage clean can become a symptom of an imagined larger problem. In some cases, however, there are true personality disorders at play, which can make divorce and child custody negotiations nothing short of a nightmare. The following tips can help spouses move through this process as swiftly and with as little turmoil as possible.

A narcissist, as recognized by the mental health community, is an individual who has an artificially inflated sense of self-worth, and who is consumed with self-focus and admiration. He or she often lacks and care or concern for others, and views other people as little more than a necessary means to an end. First and foremost, it is absolutely critical to avoid engaging with the soon-to-be-ex unless it is necessary. Narcissists thrive off of the reaction they are able to elicit from others. Remove that reaction, and he or she will most likely move on to those people who will engage in the narcissist's chosen behaviors.

This is best accomplished by avoiding undue communication. It may be necessary to communicate through the divorce attorneys, or to send very brief text messages concerning child custody arrangements. Once the divorce is made final, make every effort to avoid being drawn back in, and keep communications limited to the necessities only.

Colorado spouses who are faced with a divorce and child custody case with a narcissistic partner may also want to seek support services throughout the process. Some find comfort in sharing their experience through online platforms, while others prefer the discretion of a therapist's office. No matter how things play out, it can be helpful for the spouse of a narcissist to maintain focus on his or her future, which will not be defined by the personality disorder of a partner or spouse.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Divorce From A Psychopath Or Narcissist Is Never Easy", Tiffany Beverlin, July 9, 2017

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